The National Literacy Trust defines literacy as follows: ‘We believe literacy is the ability to read, write, speak and listen well. A literate person is able to communicate effectively with others and to understand written information.’
At St Michael’s we believe that talking and listening are fundamental to a child’s learning. Children are encouraged and helped, right from the very start, to talk clearly and confidently and with expression in order to communicate their ideas and feelings. Similarly, and just as importantly, they often need to be taught how to listen to others and respond appropriately. We provide children with opportunities to develop their skills in speaking and listening in all areas of the curriculum. Our enquiry approach to many subjects supports this drive as do the relationships we seek to build as children move through the School. In short, we aim to encourage questioning and curiosity.
We want all children to be able to enjoy reading and be able to read for purpose. We teach reading skills formally through phonics, (Letters and Sounds is our core text) but also through storytelling, using picture books, and spending time exploring the written word in all kinds of contexts and every subject area. Reading weeks keep reading at the heart of our school and encourage family members to engage in reading fun with their children. All children take books home each evening to practise, reinforce the skills taught in school and enjoy, and guidance is provided on how parents can best support their children’s learning in this area.
We want all children to be able to express themselves creatively and imaginatively, and to communicate with others effectively through the written word. Writing always has a purpose and children are encouraged to feel pride in their first steps, only later seeing how ‘secretarial’ skills can help them communicate more effectively.
We follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised complete systematic phonics programme. Children begin phonics lessons in their second week of Reception and have daily phonics lessons throughout Reception and Year 1. In Year 2 we review phonics during the Autumn term and then move on to using the No Nonsense Spelling programme from the start of the Spring term.
The National Curriculum aims to ensure that all pupils:
- Read easily, fluently and with good understanding
- Develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
- Acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
- Appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
At St. Michael’s we put reading at the heart of our learning to ensure that children have the opportunity to use reading for a range of purposes and develop a love of reading. All classes dedicate time every day for sharing books, such as sharing picture books and having a class chapter book to share.
We have a systematic system of teaching reading. In Reception and Key Stage One we follow the Little Wandle reading system. Children have 3 guided reading practice lessons a week. In lesson 1 we work on decoding the reading book. In lesson 2 we work on prosody, developing children’s confidence in reading fluently and with expression. In lesson 3 we work on comprehension skills. Reading books are carefully matched to children’s phonetic knowledge.
When children have completed the Little Wandle scheme and confidently recognise the digraphs covered they move on to the Accelerated Reader system.
In Key Stage 2 we use the Accelerated Reader system to enable children to choose appropriate level books to read. Children log on to the Accelerated Reader system at home and at school to take regular quizzes about the books they have read. Children are given time to read these books every day at school and are also encouraged to read regularly at home. Reading is celebrated every week in our celebration assembly, with reading awards being given out each work. To develop comprehension skills we use The Literacy Shed Reading Vipers. Key Stage 2 children have 3 guided reading lessons a week where they focus on a particular reading skill.
We are keen to work closely with parents and offer opportunities for parents to come in a share books with children in school and attend reading meetings to find out about how we teach reading at St. Michael’s and how families can support with reading at home.
We have a well organised curriculum that offers links to our class themes to deepen children’s understanding across the curriculum and offer opportunities for vocabulary development. We have a sequence for planning a unit of English work that ensures children have the opportunity to get to know a text well and develop grammatical skills in context.
Children develop an understanding of different text types and writing for different purposes following this progression.
In Reception, letter formation is taught using the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds scheme using formation phrases. This includes lower case and capital letters.
In Key Stage 1 we use the Nelson Handwriting scheme in a weekly handwriting lesson. We continue to encourage correct letter formation by using our ‘think pink’ pens in marking to identify letters that children need to practise.
We follow the ‘No Nonsense Spelling Programme’ from the Spring term of Year 2 and across Key Stage 2 to ensure we have a progressive and systematic method of teaching spelling and spelling rules.
Speaking and Listening
Opportunities for speaking and listening are built in across our Curriculum, ensuring there are opportunities for discussions in pairs, groups and as a class. Children also have opportunities for learning and reciting pieces to the class and to the wider school, such as in class assemblies or church services. Children are encouraged to explain their thoughts and ideas on a daily basis and develop an understanding of what makes a good listener.
Mathematics is a creative and highly inter-connected discipline that has been developed over centuries, providing the solution to some of history’s most intriguing problems. It is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary in most forms of employment. A high-quality mathematics education, therefore, provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.
At St Michael’s school our intent is to develop lively and enquiring mathematical mind-sets in our children so that they are self-motivated, confident and capable of solving problems in a variety of contexts throughout their lives.
We aim to sustain and develop in all children:
• confidence, understanding and enjoyment in mathematics;
• awareness of relationship and pattern, and how these can bring about a clearer understanding of a situation;
• an appreciation of mathematics as a means of communication through which they can analyse information and ideas;
• the ability to work systematically where the task requires a careful accurate approach, as well as the ability to show imagination, initiative and flexibility when appropriate;
• independence of thought and action as well as the ability to co-operate within a group;
• problem solving skills and strategies;
• the ability to use mathematics effectively as a tool in a wide variety of situations;
• sensible use of factual recall, mental and written methods, calculators, micro-technology and other mathematical aids.
The National Curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils:
• become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils have conceptual understanding and are able to recall and apply their knowledge rapidly and accurately to problems
• can reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language
• can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions.
Expected Standard at the end of EYFS
Developing a strong grounding in number is essential so that all children develop the necessary building blocks to excel mathematically. Children should be able to count confidently, develop a deep understanding of the numbers to 10, the relationships between them and the patterns within those numbers. By providing frequent and varied opportunities to build and apply this understanding – such as using manipulatives, including small pebbles and tens frames for organising counting – children will develop a secure base of knowledge and vocabulary from which mastery of mathematics is built. In addition, it is important that the curriculum includes rich opportunities for children to develop their spatial reasoning skills across all areas of mathematics including shape, space and measures. It is important that children develop positive attitudes and interests in mathematics, look for patterns and relationships, spot connections, ‘have a go’, talk to adults and peers about what they notice and not be afraid to make mistakes. (Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage 2021)
Expected Standard at the end of KS1
The principal focus of mathematics teaching in key stage 1 is to ensure that pupils develop confidence and mental fluency with whole numbers, counting and place value. This should involve working with numerals, words and the 4 operations, including with practical resources [for example, concrete objects and measuring tools].
At this stage, pupils should develop their ability to recognise, describe, draw, compare and sort different shapes and use the related vocabulary. Teaching should also involve using a range of measures to describe and compare different quantities such as length, mass, capacity/volume, time and money.
By the end of year 2, pupils should know the number bonds to 20 and be precise in using and understanding place value. An emphasis on practice at this early stage will aid fluency.
Pupils should read and spell mathematical vocabulary, at a level consistent with their increasing word reading and spelling knowledge at key stage 1. (DfE 2021)
Expected Standard at the end of Lower KS2
The principal focus of mathematics teaching in lower key stage 2 is to ensure that pupils become increasingly fluent with whole numbers and the 4 operations, including number facts and the concept of place value. This should ensure that pupils develop efficient written and mental methods and perform calculations accurately with increasingly large whole numbers.
At this stage, pupils should develop their ability to solve a range of problems, including with simple fractions and decimal place value. Teaching should also ensure that pupils draw with increasing accuracy and develop mathematical reasoning so they can analyse shapes and their properties, and confidently describe the relationships between them. It should ensure that they can use measuring instruments with accuracy and make connections between measure and number.
By the end of year 4, pupils should have memorised their multiplication tables up to and including the 12 multiplication table and show precision and fluency in their work.
Pupils should read and spell mathematical vocabulary correctly and confidently, using their growing word-reading knowledge and their knowledge of spelling. (DfE 2021)
Expected Standard at the end of upper KS2
The principal focus of mathematics teaching in upper key stage 2 is to ensure that pupils extend their understanding of the number system and place value to include larger integers. This should develop the connections that pupils make between multiplication and division with fractions, decimals, percentages and ratio.
At this stage, pupils should develop their ability to solve a wider range of problems, including increasingly complex properties of numbers and arithmetic, and problems demanding efficient written and mental methods of calculation. With this foundation in arithmetic, pupils are introduced to the language of algebra as a means for solving a variety of problems. Teaching in geometry and measures should consolidate and extend knowledge developed in number. Teaching should also ensure that pupils classify shapes with increasingly complex geometric properties and that they learn the vocabulary they need to describe them.
By the end of year 6, pupils should be fluent in written methods for all 4 operations, including long multiplication and division, and in working with fractions, decimals and percentages.
Pupils should read, spell and pronounce mathematical vocabulary correctly. DfE 2021)
At St Michael’s school teaching of mathematics in Y2-6 is based on:-
- 4 main mathematics lessons a week (linked to a particular maths unit)
- 1 standalone maths lesson a week based primarily on arithmetic or problem solving/reasoning or used (where the class teacher deems it acceptable) to help consolidate previous learning.
- A clear focus on direct, instructional teaching with interactive and practical applications for both the whole class and smaller ability groups.
- Mini mental maths sessions throughout the week (between 10-30 minutes long)
In YR mathematics teaching is taught through a daily 20 minute group activity on the weeks theme. Differentiation is given through questioning and follow ups. In the classroom there is a maths area where children are able to use the resources during their independent learning. Maths is also encouraged in all areas of play and learning. Teachers ensure that the maths objectives (example knowing 1-10) are embedded through teaching and tealking about the maths in all contexts for example, 5- what it looks like, sounds like, 5 on the clock, 2 and 3 make 5, 5 take away 2 is 3, number bonds to 5 etc). Numberblocks is also used alongside White Rose maths to enhance learning.
At the start of Y1 mathematics is taught in a similar way to YR with a mini whole class input and then carefully thought through provision activities whilst the teacher works with smaller groups on maths activities taken from white rose. As the year progresses the maths lessons become more structured with whole class teaching and learning.
The curriculum is delivered by class teachers. All work is differentiated where needed to order to give appropriate levels of work. Flexible grouping is used to ensure no child gets left behind in their learning. Each class teacher takes responsibility for their own year(s) planning. Planning is based upon the National Curriculum (2014) and White Rose Scheme. The White Rose scheme informs medium term plans and subsequently weekly planning. Class teacher are responsible for the relevant provision of their own classes and individually develop weekly plans which give details of learning objectives and appropriate differentiated activities. Although planned in advance, they are adjusted on a daily basis to better suit the arising needs of a class and individual pupils.
We carry out curriculum planning for mathematics in 2 phases. We use the White Rose long-term plan to then create our own medium-term and short-term plans. Our mathematics curriculum is delivered using the Early Years Learning goals and the Mathematics Programmes of Study as tools alongside the White Rose scheme to ensure appropriate pace, progression and coverage of the subject. This coverage is reviewed continually by class teachers and planning is adjusted accordingly to ensure appropriate coverage of all mathematical strands. Once children understand a mathematical concept, they are then required to solve problems and carry our investigations to deepen their conceptual understanding while also becoming more sophisticated in their Mathematical approach.
All mathematical lessons start with a mental warm up (and in KS2 a mathematical vocabulary word of the day). Children are then introduced to the learning objective of the lesson followed on by a practical input with direct teaching. Children are then given a chance to practise the skill with some fluency questions before moving onto applying the skill in a problem solving/reasoning context. Each section is differentiated in order to allow children to progress through each stage at their own levels.
All classrooms have a number of mathematical, age appropriate resources. Resources which are not used or required regularly are stored centrally and accessed by teachers at the beginning of a topic. Each classroom has a maths display relating to the current work.
The impact of mathematics at St Michael’s is assessed daily through book checks and half termly using summative assessments.
Teachers will use the half termly summative tests to award each child a ‘Point in Time’ assessment level accordingly. These will be recorded on Pupil Asset (our school management information system).
Science stimulates and excites children’ curiosity about events and things in the world around them. It also satisfies this curiosity with knowledge. Because science links direct practical experience with ideas, it can engage learners at many levels. Scientific method is about developing and evaluating explanations through experimental evidence and modelling.
Teaching and learning in science reflects our belief that children have a natural sense of awe and wonder in the world around them. We aim to provide the children with a science knowledge base, and encourage them to ask questions, make predictions and then to test these in order to discover more about the world around them. We hope also to foster responsible attitudes towards the environment and all living things.
A high-quality languages education should foster pupils’ curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world. The teaching should enable pupils to express their ideas and thoughts in another language and to understand and respond to its speakers, both in speech and in writing.’ (National Curriculum 2014 – Appendix A)
At St Michael’s, we aim to prepare and empower pupils to flourish as confident citizens now and in the future. What better way to do this, than enabling them to learn a language that can give them the key to unlocking, with confidence, other parts of the world around them. It’s important for our children to learn about a wide variety of cultures and beliefs and explore the world and people around them. At the school, we have very few pupils who have English as an additional language so the teaching of another language and the appreciation of what it takes to learn another language is very important. Spanish is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world which is one of the reasons we have chosen it as the language we shall be learning. We hope that early acquisition of Spanish will facilitate the learning of other foreign languages later in life with the aim to prepare children for the KS3 language curriculum to enable them to transfer confidently and successfully. We also hope that they develop a love of language which can set the foundation for other learning at school and beyond.
We teach Spanish across Key Stage 2. The school uses the Hola Español scheme of work to support the teaching and learning of Spanish. This provides clear progression for the development of speaking and listening as well as language acquisition. The resources are there to increase the confidence of teachers and empower them to deliver lessons enthusiastically and with the skills they need. They also provide the children with a range of learning opportunities where they get to practise their skills of both written and spoken language.
Teaching focuses on the acquisition of new language and skills as well as giving the opportunities for children to practise and rehearse the language they have already acquired. They focus on 4 main areas:
- Listening and responding
- Reading and responding
Children learn through stories, songs, rhymes and poems as well as interactive activities and the opportunity to work with their peers to develop their communication skills. We encourage children to ‘give it a go’ and not worry about getting anything wrong or ‘sounding silly’. We as teachers model this so they can see the stages of initially trying and perhaps not getting it ‘quite right’ but continuing to practise and see the difference. We find that by upper key stage 2, some children can become quite self conscious about this type of thing but by learning ‘with them’ they begin to feel more at ease.
Through the teaching of Spanish at St Michael’s:
- Children will be able to communicate with each other in Spanish.
- Children will become aware that a language has a structure, and that the structure differs from one language to another.
- Children will develop their language through development of the four key skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing.
- Children will enrich their language learning by developing an understanding of Spanish culture.
- Children will learn language skills that can be applied to a range of languages.
- Children will transfer to KS3 effectively and successfully and will be well prepared to continue and develop their language skills.
At St Michael’s school it is out intent that children become masters of computing to enable themselves to thrive in a life filled with technology. Technology has become key to modern day living and most children will start school having already been in daily contact with a form of computer. We will ensure that all children will leave Year 6 with a strong sense of how to use technology positively, responsibly and safely. We want out pupils to be creators, not consumers, and our curriculum encompassing computer science, information technology and digital literacy reflects this. It is our aim that all of our children have a solid foundation of these 3 strands of computing and nurture analytic, problem solving minds which they can continue to use as world technology updates around them.
It is also our aim for children to understand the complexities and implications associated with technology. As a school we model positive technology use and recognise the importance of education in shaping happy, healthy and respectful digital citizens.
We implement our computing curriculum with a focus on 3 key areas as set out by the national curriculum. Each term focus on a different strand. Digital Literacy is taught in Autumn, Information Technology in Spring and Computer Science in Summer. This helps
At St Michael’s Computing is taught alongside Purple Mash’s computing scheme of work. Purple Mash units are picked by the subject leader and teachers then follow the scheme’s planning (alongside its skill progression document) making changes if needed for their individual classes and pupils. Children access practical tasks using personal Purple Mash logins. To ensure that most children have access to their own laptop (or other device), classes are split in half for computing lessons. This creates a smaller staff to child ratio enabling more in-depth teaching.
Opportunities are also given to practise their computing skills in other curriculum areas and children regularly access laptops to help with reading and times tables. There are also discrete opportunities throughout the year for whole school computer focus, for example Internet Safety Day in February. The school is also developing Digital Leaders: children who work alongside teachers, parents and other pupils to enhance computing inside and outside of the school.
The impact of Computing at St Michael’s can be seen through teacher assessment of both saved work on purple mash as well as discussions with children during lessons. The impact is also checked by the subject leader through professional discussions with members of teaching staff and children interviews.
At St Michael’s we value each child as an individual and through Forest School we aim to provide a nurturing space where children have the opportunity to develop resilience, confidence, independence, motivation, co-operation, social skills and communication in a safe environment. We believe that a close connection with nature can support all children’s wellbeing and offer opportunities for all children to achieve, whatever their needs and starting points. We want children to understand and be passionate about the role we can all play as caretakers of our world, developing their understanding of our local habitat and how to look after and nurture it.
Forest School is taught throughout the school, from Nursery through to Year 6 and led by qualified Forest School leaders. To enable children to follow their interests and develop skills we value working in smaller groups with a higher adult to child ratio. To facilitate this we have planned out Forest School across the year as follows:
- Each class is split into 2 groups (group A and group B here).
- Each class has a weekly FS timetable slot.
- During a Forest School block, the group shown below will have FS sessions. The other half of the class will cover another curriculum area with the class teacher in the classroom.
- Our Forest School leader, class TA and volunteers will work with the FS group.
- We block the sessions together for a half term at a time to support families in ensuring they have the correct clothing needed for the sessions.
|Autumn 1||Autumn 2||Spring 1||Spring 2||Summer 1||Summer 2|
|Group A has a 6 week FS block.||Group B has a 6 week FS block.||Group A has a 5 week FS block.||Group B has a 5 week FS block.||Group A has a 5 week FS block.||Group B has a 5 week FS block.|
To ensure our sessions are of high quality and run effectively we have training sessions for all staff and helpers involved in Forest School. These sessions are held during the first week of the Autumn Term and whenever we have new staff or helpers join the school. These sessions are planned and delivered by the Forest School leaders.
Whilst we ensure our Forest School sessions are full of opportunities for child led learning we also appreciate the importance Forest School plays in PSHE and other areas of the curriculum. To ensure we can effectively support children in their PSHE development we have linked our Forest School and PSHE curriculum. When planning for Forest School, the leaders work together to think about the needs and interests of the learners in each group as well as the classroom curriculum to create a medium term set of learning opportunities. These opportunities will be enhanced throughout the block through observations made by staff and helpers.
Children need to ensure they have the following items for Forest School:
- Wellington boots all year around
- Waterproof trousers and jacket all year round
- In warmer weather: sun hat and sunscreen
- In colder weather: a warm coat; warm hat, warm socks and gloves
- A spare pair of socks
We measure the impact of Forest School in several ways including using Leuven scales to monitor children’s wellbeing and involvement, pupil voice, observations and photographs of children working in Forest School.
Across the school the impact of Forest School will be seen by children’s understanding of their wellbeing, being able to talk about and use strategies they can use if they are feeling anxious or stressed in other situations.
In addition, case studies have shown that regular Forest School Sessions can support children to:
- Develop self-regulation skills
- Build resilience
- Gain a sense of achievement
- Increase motivation and concentration
- Improve problem solving
- Expand their vocabulary and communication skills
- Feel empowered and have new perspectives
- Build positive relationships with adults and peers
- Have overall improved wellbeing and mental health
The teaching of geography is a chance for children to discover and understand the world whilst using many skills from other subjects:
“A high-quality geography education should inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives” (National Curriculum in England: geography programmes of study – key stages 1 and 2, DfE 2014)
At St Michael’s our intent for the teaching and learning of geography is to provide our children with a firm foundation of our world’s geography and inspire them to be curious, life-long learners of the subject. We aim to provide opportunities for children to explore parts of the world that they haven’t seen and understand the ways in which different countries, cultures and societies work. Through investigative learning we hope to encourage the children to ask, and answer, questions about the world and discover the physical and human features of our planet.
Our curriculum is designed to develop knowledge and skills that progress throughout the key stages to ensure we continuously build on the children’s knowledge and set them up well for future learning.
The national curriculum for geography aims to ensure that all pupils:
§ develop contextual knowledge of the location of globally significant places – both terrestrial and marine – including their defining physical and human characteristics and how these provide a geographical context for understanding the actions of processes
§ understand the processes that give rise to key physical and human geographical features of the world, how these are interdependent and how they bring about spatial variation and change over time
§ are competent in the geographical skills needed to:
- collect, analyse and communicate with a range of data gathered through experiences of fieldwork that deepen their understanding of geographical processes
- interpret a range of sources of geographical information, including maps, diagrams, globes, aerial photographs and Geographical Information Systems (GIS)
- communicate geographical information in a variety of ways, including through maps, numerical and quantitative skills and writing at length.”
(National Curriculum in England: geography programmes of study – key stages 1 and 2, DfE 2014) (National Curriculum in England: geography programmes of study – key stages 1 and 2, DfE 2014)
At St Michael’s School geography is taught every other half term through weekly lessons. The same unit is taught across a key stage with differentiation for the separate year groups.
The school has a progression of skills document and yearly overview for Geography outlining the units covered by each class from Y1-Y6. Each unit has a unit plan created by the subject lead which outlines the different national curriculum objectives that should be taught as well as links to reading and key vocabulary needed. Class teachers then create medium term plans for their weekly lessons from these unit plans.
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) follows the ‘Development Matters in the EYFS’ guidance which aims for all children in reception to have an ‘Understanding of the World; people and communities, the world and technology’ by the end of the academic year.
The local area is utilised to encourage outdoor learning and where a unit focuses on different areas trips or visits by experts are sought out where possible. We also strive to ensure our geography teaching is cross-curricular by making links with other subjects. For example, writing about a different country in English or learning about art from other cultures and continents in Art lessons. As a church school we learn about the different faiths and beliefs people have from around the world. Developing understanding and respect for our similarities and differences.
The impact of our geography teaching can be measured through:
- learning walks and professional dialogue with teachers and pupils
- images and/or videos of children’s practical learning
- moderation of books
- Class teacher assessment at the end of a unit of work.
- Observing children’s enthusiasm and curiosity through conversation.
History fires children’s curiosity about the past in Britain and the wider world. Children consider how the past influences the present, what past societies were like and what beliefs and cultures influenced people’s actions. As they do this, children develop a chronological framework for their knowledge of significant events and people. In history, children find evidence, weigh it up and reach their own conclusions. To do this they are encouraged to research, sift through evidence, and engage in active discussion – skills that will prepare them for adult life.
At St Michael’s we understand that Design and Technology helps children to deal with tomorrow’s rapidly changing world. Design and Technology should provide children with a real life context for learning. At St Michael’s, children receive a Design and Technology curriculum which allows them to exercise their creativity through designing and making. The children are taught to combine their designing and making skills with knowledge and understanding in order to design and make a new product. The children will also develop their use of technical vocabulary. In Design and Technology lessons, children will be inspired by engineers, designers, chefs and architects to enable them to create a range of structures, mechanisms, textiles, electrical systems and food products with a real life purpose. Correct equipment will be chosen and used accurately by the children and methods will be carefully selected to match the task.
Our Design and Technology curriculum is designed by identifying the key skills, knowledge and understanding required by the National Curriculum. This is then planned to ensure that the skills are taught sequentially across the key stages and that new skills build on and develop those taught in previous year groups.
At St Michael’s the children have one block of Design and Technology lessons each term, linking to their topic where possible. When teaching Design and Technology we ensure that we always follow the design, make, evaluate cycle. The design stage is rooted to real life, relevant contexts to give meaning to the children’s learning. The children always have a design criteria to follow when designing and making their product. During the making stage, children are given the opportunity to use a variety of tools and are taught how to use these safely. The progression of skills is mapped out across the school to ensure that the children build on previous knowledge and skills taught. When evaluating, the children evaluate against their original design criteria.
Evidence of the design, make and evaluate stages are collected in children’s books and photos are used where appropriate.
Our Design and Technology curriculum enables and encourages our children to become critical thinkers and problem solvers. Through Design and Technology our children learn to take risks, become resourceful and innovative. Children at St Michael’s learn to be passionate and excited by the designing and making of products including working with, preparing and tasting food. Learning is assessed through the analysis of the children’s ability to design, make, evaluate and improve their own work.
The impact of Design Technology is measured in a variety of ways including pupil voice, observations, book looks, photos and the products they design and make.
The National Curriculum for music aims to ensure that all pupils:
• Perform, listen to, review and evaluate music
• Be taught to sing, create and compose music
• Understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated.
At St Michael’s School the children gain a firm understanding of what music is. This is through listening, singing, playing, evaluating, analysing, and composing across a wide variety of historical periods, styles, traditions, and musical genres. We are committed to ensuring children understand the value and importance of music in the wider community and for their wellbeing.
At St Michael’s the children are taught a block of music each term by their class teacher. We use units from Charanga, supplemented with resources from BBC Ten Pieces.
Charanga is a scheme of work which offers a topic-based approach to support children’s learning in music. A steady progression plan has been built into Charanga, both within each year and from one year to the next, ensuring consistent musical development. By using Charanga as the basis of a scheme of work, we can ensure that they are fulfilling the aims for musical learning stated in the National Curriculum.
Charanga includes many examples of music styles and genres from different times and places. These are explored through the language of music via active listening, performing and composing activities, which enable understanding of the context and genre. We also listen and appraise music in the classroom daily from a wide variety of musical genres. The children find out about different periods of music and the famous composers from that time in our ‘Music of the Month’ sessions.
Charanga provides a classroom-based, participatory and inclusive approach to music learning. Throughout the scheme, children are actively involved in using and developing their singing voices, using body percussion and whole body actions, and learning to handle and play classroom instruments effectively to create and express their own and others’ music. Through a range of activities, children have opportunities to explore sounds, listen actively, compose and perform. The children are recorded at different stages of their work, these recordings are used for to help them to improve their own work and to show progression.
During the spring term children in Key Stage Two the children are also taught how to play either the recorder or glockenspiel though whole class instrumental teaching.
At St Michael’s School children are provided with opportunities beyond the National Curriculum to further and support their understanding. These include having visitors with a musical talent, and school productions. They also enjoy a variety of opportunities to sing in the community.
We measure the impact of music in many ways including video recordings, pupil voice and observations.
Across the school, the impact of music can be seen in the children’s enjoyment and enthusiasm when singing in whole school celebrations, their interest and response when listening to different styles of music and their confidence when appraising, performing or composing music.
At St Michael’s School we understand that Art and Design stimulates creativity and imagination. It provides visual, tactile and sensory experiences and a special way of responding and understanding the world. It enables children of all abilities to communicate what they see, feel and think through the use of colour, texture, form, pattern and different materials and processes.
At St Michael’s School we encourage children to explore ideas through the work of a range of artists. Through learning about the roles and functions with art, the children can explore the impact it has had on contemporary life and that of different times and cultures. The appreciation and enjoyment of the visual arts enriches all of our lives.
At St Michael’s School the children are taught a block of work each half term, linking to their topic where possible. The progression of skills are mapped out across the year groups so that the children continually build on previous learning. Our curriculum provides children with the opportunities to develop their skills using a variety of media and materials. Children study a range of works by famous artists to develop a knowledge of styles, this also provides cross curricular links.
Each child in key stage one and key stage two have their own individual sketch book which follows them through the school and shows their progression. Children’s artwork is displayed around school to motivate and inspire others and to celebrate the pupils’ work. Every two years, the children have the opportunity to produce a piece of artwork which is displayed in a whole school art exhibition.
At St Michael’s the impact of art is measured in many ways including building a portfolio of examples of artwork from across the school, pupil voice, observations and sketch books.
Across the school, the impact of art can be seen in the children’s artwork which is displayed, the progression of skills shown in sketchbook work and the children’s final piece of art work and their knowledge of artists and their styles.
The children are also given opportunities and are encouraged to be reflective about their own and other’s work, with their responses showing their understanding and expected vocabulary.
As a Church of England School, we see it as our duty to give children and members of the school community the skills to maximise their engagement with the world around them, enable them to grow spiritually, emotionally, and personally, and develop the character and values which will serve them well in future life and support success.
‘Religious education is primarily about enabling pupils to become free thinking, critical participants of public discourse, who can make academically informed judgements about important matters of religion and belief which shape the global landscape’ (Norfolk Agreed Syllabus 2019).
RE aims to broaden children’s awareness, understanding and tolerance of different belief systems, cultures, and lifestyles worldwide, and to encourage and develop in pupils the skills required to interact peacefully with others they will meet in this changing world, who believe, think, and live differently.
Our intent is to provide pupils with the opportunities to explore some of the key ideas and concepts of major religions and worldviews in a safe environment. Investigating and reflecting upon religious values and questions within the three disciplines of RE – theology (believing), philosophy (thinking) and human and social sciences (living) – within which are housed ten Age Related Expectations in each year group (see below).
At St Michael’s, we develop pupils’ knowledge of Christianity, its values and its impact on citizens around the world while also investigating key concepts in other major religions and worldviews. We address fundamental questions concerning, for example, life as a journey, the existence of a creator deity and life after death.
As a Church of England School, we believe that all children, whether they have a faith or not, and whatever their background or culture, deserve a rich, broad, and balanced RE curriculum with engaging opportunities to develop all pupils’ becoming moral, social, spiritual, confident, and aware individuals.
We base our curriculum design on the research of four diocesan RE advisers — Jane Chipperton (Diocese of St Albans), Gillian Georgiou (Diocese of Lincoln), Olivia Seymour (Diocese of York) and Kathryn Wright (Formally of the Diocese of Norwich) – who developed the set of Age-Related Expectations that ‘enable pupils to hold balanced and well-informed conversations about religion and belief. Implicit within this is the study of a range of religions, belief systems and worldviews.’
The Aims of the Norfolk Agreed Syllabus 2019
Is for children to:
· To know about and understand a range of religious and non-religious worldviews by learning to see these through theological, philosophical, and human/social science lenses.
· To express ideas and insights about the nature, significance, and impact of religious and non-religious worldviews through a multi-disciplinary approach.
· To gain and deploy skills rooted in theology, philosophy and the human/social sciences engaging critically with religious and non-religious worldviews.
Further objectives of teaching religious education in our school are to help children:
· Develop an early understanding of self, God, and Christianity on the Foundation Stage.
- Develop curiosity and a deeper understanding of Christianity and other key religions such as Judaism, Hinduism & Sikhism.
· Develop an awareness of spiritual and moral issues arising in their lives.
· Develop knowledge and understanding of major world religions and value systems found in Britain (and across the world across KS2 (Key Stage 2)).
· Develop an understanding of what it means to be committed to a religious tradition.
· Be able to reflect on their own experiences and to develop a personal response to the fundamental questions of life set out in our curriculum.
· Develop an understanding of religious traditions and appreciate the cultural differences in Britain (and across the world) today.
· Develop investigative and research skills, and make reasoned judgements about religious issues.
· Have respect for other people’s views, and celebrate the diversity in society.
· Embed our Vision as a school.
At St Michael’s school, we planned the RE curriculum in accordance with Norfolk Agreed Syllabus for RE 2019, in alliance with the Diocese of Norwich and SACRE.
(Our curriculum was designed by John Neenan in collaboration with Dr Kathryn Wright)
RE will follow an enquiry-based process of learning based around a Big Question to enable children to engage with and explore a key concept. To broaden their understanding we use resources such as artefacts, analyse holy texts and explore the impact of an idea on people’s lifestyles worldwide as well as making connections between the texts and real life and considering different interpretations, developing critical thinking while questioning whether a belief or idea is rational or reasonable.
We enable children to develop a sound knowledge of Christianity as well as other world religions, and through this, we intend to develop within pupils, respect, and tolerance for other people worldwide.
Children reflect on what it means to have a faith and to develop their own spiritual knowledge and understanding. We help pupils learn from religions as well as about religions.
Children will have the equivalent of one hour a week of RE and some form of Collective Worship daily. Either as a school, in person or via Zoom, as a key Stage or Class.
The impact of our RE is assessed using new assessment materials, which have been developed in line with the Age-Related Expectations. The Diocese of Norwich has developed these to work alongside the Norfolk Agreed Syllabus.
Teachers will use these at the three assessment points during the year and award each child a ‘Point in Time’ assessment level accordingly. These will be recorded on Pupil Asset (our school management information system) along with the other Core Curriculum Subjects from September 2021. The impact of our RE curriculum and Collective Worship can also be measured through soft data. This might be in several different forms such as engagement with the church and wider community, pupil, and parental voice as well as children’s/adults’ general behaviours.
Physical Education is concerned with the promotion of positive attitudes towards physical activity and well-being. At St Michael’s, children are helped to acquire the skills needed to participate with confidence and enjoyment in a range of individual team activities at school and in the wider community, and to appreciate the place of regular exercise as a way of keeping fit both now and in the future.
We teach physical education through a multi-ability approach where learning is child focused and built around a holistic focused viewpoint. Looking at the child as a whole and focused on 6 main threads: creative, social, personal, cognitive, applying physical and health and fitness.
It’s important for our children to build a love of physical activity that they want to continue into the future . The support they give to one another during the sessions, really builds a mutual respect and support network as well as creating opportunities for them to be resilient and achieve their goals despite difficulties.
Staff and children are supported by realPE to facilitate holistic learning and teaching. KS1 and KS2 children have two weekly sessions of PE whilst EYFS have one formal lesson but work on physical skills throughout the day. The children receive focused learning around fundamental skills and multi-abilities that create a level of challenge that will both stretch and challenge them in addition to promoting creativity and resilience.
The impact of the PE Curriculum is assessed termly against the objectives for the unit based on the multi-ability thread of focus along with physical skills. Due to the holistic nature of our curriculum, children are assessed against a whole range of skills, not simply physical ones.
Teachers focus on a range of learning nutrients to support learning before the responsibility is shifted towards the children and then becomes habitual. This includes things such as praise for positive behaviours, coaching and supporting others, ambition and control.
In the Early Years Foundation Stage, PSHE is about making connections and is strongly linked to play. PSHE is taught through activities that are part of topics, as well as on an individual basis to develop personal skills such as dressing, feeding and toileting. Positive experiences are built through daily opportunities to share and enjoy a range of different activities. The children are given the opportunity to engage in social activities, as members of a small group or occasionally during whole school activities.
In KS1 children continue to engage in activities that promote an understanding of themselves as growing and changing individuals, and as members of a wider community, based on their own first hand experiences. They learn to understand how their choices and behaviours can affect others and are encouraged to play and learn alongside, and then collaboratively with, their peers. Children are also given the opportunity to make choices about their health and environment and are encouraged to develop a caring attitude to others. SEAL materials and themes may be incorporated into the curriculum.
RSHE is learning about the emotional, social and physical aspects of growing up, relationships, sex, human sexuality and sexual health in an age and stage appropriate manner.
It is our intent that It will equip children and young people with accurate information, positive values and the skills to enjoy healthy, safe and positive relationships, within which they value their sexuality and take responsibility for their health and wellbeing both now and in the future. We recognise the importance of RSHE in preparing children and young people to live safe, fulfilled and healthy lives. The objective of RSHE is to support children and young people through a journey of physical, emotional and moral development, through the teaching of essential knowledge, skills and values within the framework of the law, relevant provisions of the Equality Act, 2010 and through the teaching of the Christian perspectives on relationships and sex.
Effective RSHE can make a significant contribution to the development of personal skills needed by pupils to establish and maintain relationships. RSHE will ensure children and young people are encouraged to understand the importance of stable, loving relationships, respect, love, and care in line with our Christian values. It also enables young people to make responsible and informed decisions about their health and wellbeing.
RSHE will be approached through evidence-based, best practice principles to ensure the highest impact on improving pupil health, wellbeing, safeguarding and lifelong outcomes.
The following principles are based on research evidence, supported by a wide range of leading organisations including NSPCC, Barnardo’s, The Children’s Society and education unions.
As the Diocese of Norwich, we are committed to the RSHE which:
▪ Is taught by staff regularly trained in RSHE (with expert visitors invited in to enhance and supplement the programme where appropriate)
▪ Works in partnership with parents and carers, informing them about what their children will be learning and about how they can contribute at home
▪ Delivers lessons where pupils feel safe and encourages participation by using a variety of teaching approaches with opportunities to develop critical thinking and relationship skills
▪ Is based on reliable sources of information, including about the law and legal rights, and distinguishes between fact and opinion
▪ Promotes safe, equal, caring and enjoyable relationships and discusses real-life issues appropriate to the age and stage of pupils, including friendships, families, consent, relationship abuse, sexual exploitation and safe relationships online
▪ Gives a positive view of human sexuality, with honest and medically accurate information, so that pupils can learn about their bodies and sexual and reproductive health in ways that are appropriate to their age and maturity
▪ Gives pupils opportunities to reflect on values and influences (such as from peers, media, faith and culture) that may shape their attitudes to relationships and sex, and nurtures respect for different views
▪ Includes learning about how to get help and treatment from sources such as the school nurse and other health and advice services, including reliable information online
▪ Respects gender equality and LGBT+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans) equality and challenges all forms of discrimination in RSHE lessons and in every-day school life
▪ Meets the needs of all pupils with their diverse experiences – including those with special educational needs and disabilities
- Seeks pupils’ views about RSHE so that teaching can be made relevant to their real lives and assessed and adapted as their needs change
To see our RSHE policy please click here. The lesson plans are below:
The majority of elements of the RSHE curriculum are a statutory requirement to teach to meet the June 2019 Government RSHE guidance and The Equalities Act, 2010.
RSHE will be taught through a ‘spiral curriculum’. This approach means that pupils will gain knowledge, develop values and acquire skills gradually during their school years by re-visiting core themes to build on prior learning. RSHE will support the school’s commitment to safeguard pupils through an age-appropriate curriculum that prepares them to live safely in the modern world.
Our intended RSHE curriculum is detailed below, but may vary in response to emerging issues and to reflect the rapidly changing world in which our pupils are living and learning. If this is the case parent/carers will be provided with appropriate notice before the amended programme is delivered. Where possible the curriculum will be complemented by themed assemblies, topic days and cross curricular links.
We will be following ‘The Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) Solution’ Curriculum which has been developed by Educator Solutions. The children will have at least 6 lessons spread out over the course of the school year. Lessons will be taught in Year Groups and not classes so the material is age appropriate.
Pupils’ learning will be assessed at the end of every topic to ensure that pupils are making sufficient progress to build on prior teaching and learning and that teaching strategies and resources remain relevant and effective. Assessment activities will be implicit, forming part of a normal teaching activity to ensure that pupils do not feel under pressure. There will be self-assessment tasks throughout the programme that will confirm pupils understanding of the topics. The evaluation of teaching and learning assessments will be shared with pupils and parents as appropriate.
The quality of RSHE teaching and learning will be monitored through RSHE learning walks, team teaching and informal drop-ins conducted by subject leads and/or members of the senior leadership team. Governors will monitor the quality of provision, pupil progress and accessibility of the RSHE provision. Specific governor responsibilities are in section 38 and 39 of the RSHE Guidance. The observations and findings of which will be used to identify and inform future staff training and resource needs.